Octorara Elementary students paint kindness rocks with their loved ones during their inaugural Grandparents Day Celebration.

Octorara Elementary School welcomed 264 grandparents to their school community on November 26, 2019 for their inaugural Grandparents Day. The event supported two of the building’s school wide goals: establishing an environment that promotes staff cohesiveness, trust, and community that will enhance and sustain a positive school climate; and, promoting the learning of positive social, emotional, ethical, and civic development of students. Staff chose the week of Thanksgiving anticipating that grandparents would be traveling into the area to spend time with their families for the holiday. “We certainly had a fantastic turnout and received great feedback from grandparents as they were leaving our school,” said principal Brian Dikun.

A team effort, every staff member and student played an important role in sharing the sense of purpose that Octorara Elementary School has committed to this year in their school wide goals. Whether it was greeting guests at the door, delivering cookies and milk to the classrooms, designing the program, leading activities, or simply supporting students and families during the visit, everyone was “all in.”

Fourth grade students conducted interviews by using their iPads to compare and contrast their school experiences with those of their grandparents and shared an oral reading of Grandma, Grandpa, and Me by Mercer Mayer. In the third grade classrooms, grandparents and students painted kindness rocks together as a reminder of the character lessons students participated in this school year. Activities culminated with a shared snack of cookies and milk. “Both grade 4 and grade 3 sessions exemplified how grandparents are a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend,” observed Josh Irons, an Instructional Support teacher at OES.

Staff and students are looking forward to next year’s event.